Google Inc.’s life sciences group has created a health-tracking wristband that could be used in clinical trials and drug tests, giving researchers or physicians minute-by-minute data on how patients are faring.
The experimental device, developed within the company’s Google X research division, can measure pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature, and also environmental information like light exposure and noise levels. It won’t be marketed as a consumer device, said Andy Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google.
My take on this is that Google intends to:
1. Start by creating a device that tracks health and environment data *very* accurately (by having to meet clinical trial requirements). Then improve the size, design, power, and other attributes. The next version will be even better for clinical trials. The iteration after that? – suitable for consumers (size, power, etc.).
2. Use insights to improve Android Wear (the OS, or a related reference architecture), even if its aim isn’t to achieve clinical-trial performance on those devices. Very notably, Nest devices could also benefit.
3. In the meantime, Google will learn a lot about biometric and environmental sensors, related data, and related applications for that data.